Theatrical plant names, the ones that evoke imagery of powerful sorcery or wondrous mystical creatures, make me sparkle. My longtime love, Amanita bisporigera, the Destroying Angel, served as my nom de plume for many years. The Monkey Puzzle Tree makes me grin. Butter and Eggs makes me hungry. My army of Monstera Deliciosa at home make me imagine that I’m caring for a bunch of Gremlins, who run around at night eating treats from my cupboards and moving around my furniture.
Nature inspires and fascinates me, always. It’s as much a part of who I am as my obsession with puzzles. My mother literally hugged trees everywhere she went, so I’d argue that it’s in the genes. My friends used to laugh at me at playing with dragonflies and worms. Being alone in the woods is my happy place. I want to go mushroom picking always, foraging is amazing. I’m really liking the heightened focus on plants in this city, in no small part due to the plant-based food movement in general gaining traction here. I love the wall-art in Planta, or nooks like Stamen and Pistil and Dynasty. Terrarium workshops are awesome, botanical posters adorning your walls are fabulous. And let’s all agree that what the Actinolite team are doing to Toronto as a whole is genius, shall we?
I’m always looking to be inspired, I think we all are. I guess I feel very fortunate that all I have to do is to look outside to marvel at the mysteries of the world. And I’m still, always, looking to find my tribe, and I believe with all my heart that people who love and respect nature are the best kind of people. The ones that show me a baobab fruit and star apples. The ones that divide rhizomes to share plants. The nerds that discuss mushroom varietals. I love you little monsters, you’re my kind of weird.